A divorce always marks a time of uncertainty. The living arrangements you have enjoyed for years suddenly are being changed—forever. If you have been the breadwinner for your family, you may worry how much of your money you will be allowed to keep after spousal and child support are deducted from your paycheck. If you have not been working outside the house, you now face the prospect of having to polish your job skills and look for work in a tough labor market.
Here’s what you do know, because it’s part of popular culture: it costs much more to maintain two households than one. Almost everyone suffers a decline in his or her standard of living after a divorce. Serious financial hardship is a real possibility.
Our Wilmington divorce law firm doesn’t want to exaggerate the challenges you face. With careful planning and sound advice, you can take steps to remain financially secure after your North Carolina divorce. What you must not do is ignore the risks and hope they will resolve themselves on their own.
Six Useful Strategies for Planning Your Post-Divorce Future
Our North Carolina family law attorneys have compiled a list of essential steps you will want to take before the judge issues your final divorce decree in New Hanover County.
- Work with your spouse ahead of time to resolve financial issues on your own terms. If both sides can agree on alimony, child support, and division of the marital property, then the judge almost always will ratify that agreement. This means you can assert some control over your post-divorce future. The court will decide any issues you can’t resolve with your spouse, so do your best to come to an agreement with which you can live. Your Wilmington divorce lawyer can assist with your negotiations.
- Know your financial situation ahead of time. Before the first hearing, you should have available essential financial information: your income and your spouse’s for the last several years, a list of real and personal property you own in common and separately, the expenses for your family, and so on. You can’t make plans for where you will be going unless you know where you have been.
- Consider your future living arrangements carefully. Can you afford to keep the house? Do you want to? If not, where will you live? Who gets the money when the house is sold?
- Prepare alternative budgets for your life after divorce. Use different assumptions for each child custody and child support, in order to figure out what you and your family really need for a working household.
- Double-check your employment security. If you are working: How safe are your job, your pension, and your job-related benefits? If you are not working, find out what it would take to upgrade your job skills to become employable in today’s economy.
- Get an ally you trust. Find a North Carolina divorce attorney with whom you can develop a good working relationship—someone compassionate and helpful. Divorce lawyers have seen dozens or hundreds of cases, and they know what it will take to keep you on your feet after the marriage is over. Listen to the advice of your attorney.
Consider Speaks Law Firm
At Speaks Law Firm, our legal team believes a divorce does not have to involve the personal destruction of everyone in the family. We have learned that a cooperative approach to ending a marriage can be found in almost all cases—an approach that will allow positive relationships between former spouses, their children, and their extended families to flourish.
Call us today, toll-free, at 877-593-4233 or locally at 910-341-7570. Our Wilmington divorce lawyers can answer your questions about your upcoming divorce action and help you with plans to remain financially secure afterward.